African Clean Energy is a Dutch-South African social enterprise focused on enabling decentralised access to clean energy to rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. We are best known for distributing our proprietary product, the ACE 1 Energy System. We distribute directly to customers, building last-mile distribution channels in the developing world which can facilitate remote households to gain access not only to the ACE 1, but also to maintenance services, financial support and clean fuels. ACE is headquartered in Amsterdam, our flagship factory is in Lesotho, and we have a growing team of 100+ full time employees active in Lesotho, Cambodia and Uganda.
ACE distributes directly B2C in Lesotho, Cambodia and Uganda. We employ in-house sales teams to travel to communities (often rural areas) and demonstrate the functions of the product in an informal setting. Sales agents use an online customised software to setup contracts and loans on the spot, and to perform data collection.
Priced at $100+, the ACE 1 is made available to most customers on a 6-9 micro-loan. Loans are managed internally by ACE, and repayments are facilitated by the significant energy savings that customers achieve by using the product. With this model, ACE can successfully give $2-a-day people access to a $100+ product.
The ACE 1’s smart capability helps set up the digital infrastructure needed to create a network for off-grid thermal energy distribution in rural locations. Our current focus is to build a matching physical infrastructure of mobile retail shops that can allow our customer base to have continuous access to clean energy products and services. We opened the first official ACE shopfront in 2017, in Mbale, Uganda, and in the next 3 years, as part of a project co-funded by the European Union, we are setting up 25 mobile energy shops in remote areas of Lesotho.
By combining IoT, modern telecommunications and a complementing network of retail locations, we are able to connect households to an off-grid energy network and leverage the advantages of centralised management to offer communities efficient access to clean fuels, real-time maintenance registration & response, and easy communication with our representatives.
ACE is a certified B-Corp, and commits to reinvesting most of its profits into its social mission.
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